04/03/2020 | Writer: Yiğit E Korkmaz
There is now a new LGBTI+ Association in Ankara: May 17. The association aims to strengthen the LGBTI+ community and LGBTI activism against growing pressure targeting the LGBTI+ community.
The May 17 Association, which aims to strengthen the LGBTI+ community and activism, was founded in Ankara on September 2, 2019.
Why May 17?
The association is named after the day homosexuality was removed from the World Health Organization's "International Disease Classification" on May 17, 1990. The date of May 17 has since been celebrated worldwide as The International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia.
What is its agenda?
The May 17 Association primarily aims to strengthen the LGBTI+ community and LGBTI activism against increasing pressure against the LGBTI+ community. The association's founders are predominantly LGBTI+ activists and professionals working in this field. In line with the needs arising during capacity building activities of LGBTI+ organizations and activists being able to provide support and intervention to crises are among the priority areas of the association's work.
Due to its headquarters being in Ankara, the association will work to strengthen the communication of the movement, which has weakened ties with the LGBTI+ community because of the Ankara bans and increased pressure.
It is possible to contact and stay in touch with the May 17 Association via the following e-mail addresses and social media accounts.
Mahmut Şefik Nil Hall
May 17 uses a recently opened hall in Ankara, named after Psychologist Mahmut Şefik Nil, one of the founders of Kaos GL, together with the Rainbow Family Association and the Aramızda Association. Mahmut Şefik Nil Hall has been aimed at becoming a center for gender activities in Ankara.
Opening of Mahmut Şefik Nil Hall
The association has identified three primary fields of work for itself:
*Empowering LGBTI+ organizations and society
The association began its work in the field of old age under the name "Lubunya40+". On December 13-15, 2019, they held their first workshop. The agenda of the work, which is carried out with the participation of more than twenty LGBTI+ people, is as follows:
"Being aware that the LGBTI+ movement in Turkey is a relatively young social movement, and the people who participate in this struggle are entering the aging process but they were not on the agenda of the LGBTI+ movement before, we believe that it is our responsibility as the people who started the LGBTI+ movement, to help our community to overcome one of the fears experienced by many LGBTI+ people, the fear of aging and being alone."
The association's first activity in the field of HIV was to attend the "Living Politics: Remembering HIV/AIDS Activism Tomorrow", the closing conference of the EUROPACH project in Germany/Berlin, on September 12-13, 2019. The association's founders also participated in the "HIV and Anti-Discrimination Stakeholder Workshop" hosted by Kaos GL. The association described its approach to HIV after these two events:
"With this conference and workshop, we decided to focus on the HIV issue from a broader framework, realizing that HIV should not be evaluated not only within the scope of a healthcare right but also as an equal citizenship issue."
Empowering LGBTI+ organizations and society
Association; has determined to empower LGBTI+ organizations, activists and society as its third field of activity. The association, which inherited this goal from the Kaos GL Association in Ankara, describes its approach to this field as follows:
"In the recent process, threats to the LGBTI+ community and activism are increasing. In order to support the sustainability of LGBTI+ organizations in this respect, we aim to provide support in fields such as resource development, finance and administrative affairs, advocacy and digital security. In particular, it is aimed to establish professional and voluntary support teams that can intervene in crisis moments. We will carry out our activities in these fields in cooperation with Kaos GL."
Under the program aimed to support LGBTI+ activists, the association will create a pool of specialists who will contribute as volunteers. It is envisaged to provide expert support in areas such as administration, finance, resource development, project cycle, accounting, volunteer management, administrative procedures, corporate communications."
Translation: Yiğit E. Korkmaz
Tags: human rights, life